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HomeBalkansCapuozzo in Brilliant Comeback as Italy Pours 9 Tries on 14-Man Romania

Capuozzo in Brilliant Comeback as Italy Pours 9 Tries on 14-Man Romania


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Italy won its first rugby test since November when it beat up 14-man Romania 57-7 in a World Cup warmup in the heat of Stadio Riviera delle Palme on Saturday.

Romania hadn’t beaten the Azzurri in Italy since 1990, and the odds lengthened in the sixth minute when lock Adrian Motoc was red-carded for crashing his head into the head of Italy captain Michele Lamaro in a ruck.

Motoc faces suspension, and possibly worse news for Romania was the apparent right shoulder injury which forced off flyhalf Mihai Muresan. The Oaks’ first World Cup game was in three weeks against Ireland in Bordeaux.

The news was all good for Italy after scoring nine tries in a record-margin win against Romania.

Lamaro passed a head injury assessment after the Motoc hit, and fullback Ange Capuozzo scored two tries and looked a handful whenever he touched the ball in his first Italy appearance in six months after a shoulder injury. Prop Ivan Nemer appeared for the first time this year, also.

They ended an eight-test losing streak with one more World Cup warmup against Japan next weekend before heading to France to open against Namibia in three weeks in Saint-Etienne.

“It is a result that is good for the mood,” Lamaro said. “We rarely find ourselves in situations like this. These games also serve to understand how to behave in these situations. We lost sight of the team aspect a little, indulging in purely individual plays, and we allowed Romania to get back into the game and gain confidence. We have to be more cynical and precise, staying in our game even when we’re ahead on the scoreboard.”

Italy flyhalf Paolo Garbisi, starting with his younger brother and scrumhalf Alessandro for the first time, was in striking form with the man advantage in 29-degree heat on the Adriatic coast.

Paolo looped around center Juan Ignacio Brex to give Paolo Odogwu the opening try, then he tracked down opposite Muresan to save a try.

The Garbisis combined to give the next try to Montanna Ioane down the blindside, and Alessandro Garbisi went over after a break by No. 8 Toa Halafihi.

Paolo was charged down in his own 22 but the spinning ball was hacked on by Capuozzo who gathered and sprinted untouched for the last 55 meters.

The half finished with a fifth Italy try for hooker Giacomo Nicotera and a penalty try for Romania which put Lamaro in the sin-bin.

Not long into the new half, both captains were in the sin-bin after Romania’s Cristi Chirica tackled Ioane too high and collided heads. It was 13 versus 14 for a time.

Brex, Capuozzo, Dino Lamb and the tireless Halafihi scored tries for Italy in the second half.


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